Buying Second Hand – What are Your Options

| September 19, 2013 | 0 Comments

Used car

Buying a used car can be difficult. Where do you even start? Buying second-hand has more than a few different options. It is just a matter of finding the one that works for you. There are essentially two ways to buy a used car: from a private owner or a dealership.


Buying from an owner can seem like a great advantage, especially as you can potentially negotiate a really good deal. Negotiations will be less terse; chances are so will the mileage(how can mileage be ‘less terse’?).

Going with a dealership, however, means it will be certifiably pre-owned with a new warranty. You could also receive extras like having the car cleaned and help with financing (i.e. buying cars on finance means if the money hasn’t all come through, a dealership can help by giving you cash back or zero interest to help ease the burden).

Financing is a smart way to make sure you’re protected and lower the risks involved in making a large purchase, like a car.


There are of course disadvantages to both. Private owners come with attachments to their vehicles, meaning negotiations can sometimes be dragged out because of a sentimental attachment to the vehicle. You also take the risk of not being covered under warranty laws as the purchase will be private, something that wouldn’t occur with a dealer.

The dealers however do tend to have higher prices than private owners, but some good bargaining could bring those prices down dramatically. Also dealing with smooth-talking salespeople can be a bit daunting and make you feel out-matched. After all, these are people whose living it is to play hardball. Sticking to your guns and being immoveable can help a lot though.

Also, try to be aware of up-selling, where dealers try to palm off several different added extras onto you for more money. Such things as extended warranties and new sound systems are not in any way essential and you certainly don’t need either when buying (the car on its own is expensive enough).

Try to be direct and try to be smart. If paid extras seem alluring, add in a clause to lower the price of the vehicle. Try to even out the price and make sure you are not being swindled.

How to Test a Used Car

So when everything on the financial side is worked out, how do you now make sure this perfectly priced car is actually the perfect car for you? This is certainly something to consider when buying privately. If you have a mechanic friend, they can be a huge help as they could spot any problems immediately. But as that’s not likely for many, there are a few tips and tricks worth heeding.

  • Check for rust
  • Check the tires and wheels
  • Look for damage to the exterior and interior
  • Look under the hood for bad repair work, new spark plugs and signs of regular maintenance
  • Listen. If it rattles and rolls it is closer to the heap than simply cheap. You don’t want a car that costs more in upkeep than it does to buy.

Finally, make an informed decision. Do the research and get yourself the best deal.


Category: Car Loan

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